Mandragore

Aubergine Annick Goutal ridged bottle, half full.

Modern warlock potion.

Zings with citrus and black pepper out of the bottle, then sweetens up for a little while with anise and ginger. Other herbs are mashed up in there too, and the concoction constantly shifts, releasing smoky bubbles of impossible spell components for several hours–black violet leaf, glass wormwood, electric lavender.

Settles down to a bite of green on the skin, and is gone by noon.
Flips to the grimoire page of unisex.

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I love this.

Folavril

Annick Goutal mini bottle embossed with her gold wreath logo, and Campari tomatoes.

I had so hoped that I wouldn’t fall in love with this little ’80’s vintage eau de toilette, but Folavril is the spiked herbal brew the Faerie Queen serves at summer parties.
A sunny day-drunk cocktail made with one part Chartreuse, one part Fleur Defendue, topped off with mango hard seltzer and garnished with tomato leaf.

Lasts through the afternoon, sliding back and forth between fruit nectar and a sharp, fizzy–almost soap-suds–green.
Stays close, leafier on clothes and sweeter on skin.

Sadly, other collectors love it too. Bottles are scarce, and pricey.

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Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty came out with this beauty in 1981, too.

Grand Amour

Amber filled Annick Goutal mini splash bottle, behind a spire of blue hyacinth.

A garden party of an earlier era–

Fruity hyacinth wine and Victorian button boots, damp spring earth and sheer amber musk.

Roses and jasmine and vanilla add a splash of sweetness. The flowers fade to the skin in a few hours, but leave green stains on the clothes for days.

Pretty, but Grand Amour needs to be a bit more exciting, for me to have Big Love at that price.

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This song is all Lindsey Buckingham, but Stevie Nicks does play her skirt really well.


Rose Pompon

Red cut glass bottle with gold cap, pink striped tea roses and raspberries.

Heat activated roses that last FOREVER.

Opens with Ruby Red pink grapefruit juice cocktail spiked with raspberry Chambord, and as it warms, the roses bloom sweet with vanilla, and stay there for days. Weeks, even.

The rose masks the violets, I only smell them in my hair (which is Covid-19 long right now) and on my shirt cuffs when I’m not wearing it. If I pin my hair close to my head the roses open again, same if I re-wear the jacket.
In a hot bath the roses get thorny, woods with a bitter bite of the grapefruit again, gorgeous, yet also a bit masculine.

There are sexier fruity roses out there—(come to me, baby) Angel Nova and (sigh) Sådanne—but none as delightfully mercurial or long lasting.

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Just discovered Esperanza Spalding, a cool jazz artist with a lot of Joni Mitchell energy–

Eau d’Hadrien

Eau d Hadrien
Black capped mini bottle with Annick Goutal gold wreath and bow, on half a lemon.

A squirt of lemon juice that sweetens to hard candy and aniseed for an hour, then settles to citrus oil woods and Joy dish soap suds for another two.

I get why it’s so popular. There’s something fancy, yet low-key about it–like good taste with a sense of humor.

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This song never fails to put me in a good mood.

Passion

Gold capped Annick Goutal ridged melon bottle with amber eau, and a gold ribbon holding the wreath tag.

This woman pops a cream candy in her mouth while coolly walking away from the burning house behind her.
I’m scared of her, but I want to be her friend.

Edit – 9/12/21

(From my rescued-from-the-back-of-the-closet collection.)

The first bite is a fancy floral sweet mess of tuberose and jasmine, milky white marbled with green, that melts into ylang-ylang with a verdant pop of tomato leaf. The herbal sweetness has a minty vibe, echoed again on the bottom by the patchouli and vanilla.
The oak-moss at the base anchors us firmly in the 80’s racks of the consignment shop–patterned silk dresses and art-house punk jackets. (A good place to find a vintage bottle–they can still be found at reasonable prices–though it’s still in production.)

Cheerful and clever, in a movie-heroine-gets-her-revenge-in-the-end-while-smoking-a-menthol way, but I never really took to it.
I’ll pass it on to my friend who can quote Heathers word for word.

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The amazing Chaka Khan came out with Ain’t Nobody in 1983.
I’m feeling this updated cover today.